Open Letter to Labour’s new Scottish leader Richard Leonard MSP

Dear Richard,

Photo: Craig Maclean

Congratulations on your election as Scottish Labour leader. We hope your victory heralds a new age in Scottish politics. Whilst we disagree with Labour on many things – Independence, failure to repeal anti union laws , sending in Sheriff officers to humiliate working people during the poll tax struggle, the war in Iraq, the use of PFI contracts in privatising our NHS and education services, attacking the benefits of single parents – in recognition of the fact that your election represents a break with past policies we would like to suggest we work together to tackle the poverty pay, insecure work, soaring housing costs and falling living standards working class people suffer every day.

We look forward to working together to fight the Tories and press the SNP to back a ten point programme which we believe could transform the lives of working class people and include:

  • A £10/hour living wage
  • Replacing the Council tax with an income based alternative shifting the burden onto the shoulders of those most able to pay
  • Supporting ‘no cuts budgets’ at national and local government level
  • Introducing free public transport to combat climate change and give people a more attractive alternative to their cars
  • Returning our railways and our energy industries to public hands
  • Provide free access to the internet for under 25’s
  • Provide free residential elderly care to add to Scotland’s free personal care
  • Implement a massive programme of council house building
  • Build Scotland’s trade union membership up to one million
  • Campaign for a modern, democratic republic with an elected head of state.

Such a programme could transform the lives of working class people in keeping with their expectations of the Scottish Parliament’s ‘brave new dawn’ promised them in 1999.

We look forward to your reply.

Comradely regards,

Colin Fox and Natalie Reid

National spokespeople, Scottish Socialist Party

Main Photo: Craig Maclean